Our Associates

Ascend Advisors contracts with topic-specific experts in a variety of fields and industries to better meet the needs of our clients.  Here are a few of our associates:


Myron Bennett, M.B.A/M.H.A.

Myron Bennett  is a Public Policy Consultant with expertise and experience working in the Public Health, Community Development, Fund Development and Board Governance arenas. He has developed and directed several projects that investigate how new sources of data and expanded stakeholder engagement are helping transform health, health care, community development, fund development and research.Myron Bennett

Mr. Bennett has initiated, and furthered the replication of, a plethora of successful Community Development and Public Health initiatives by identifying, documenting and disseminating results and lessons learned from these private and public sector initiatives.  Mr. Bennett has served as the  principal and co-investigator on a number of urban population health research projects to advance the field of community-centered outcomes research. He has also led several projects that focus on building the data and human resource infrastructure needed to support the development of  healthy, thriving and learning organizations and systems.

Mr. Bennett's areas of expertise include leadership development and coaching,  community development and public health policy development, operations management and organizational development, executive nonprofit management, government relations, advocacy, consumer and stakeholder engagement, comparative effectiveness and community participatory research, fund development including grant development and management, nonprofit  governance and community-based improvement, health professional education, cultural competency and health literacy education for health professionals, and has written and presented on a number of these topics.

With nearly 30 years of experience in the community development and healthcare fields, he brings a range of skills to his work, including technical assistance design and execution, collaborative network development, research design and policy analysis.  Mr. Bennett holds master's degrees in business and health care administration from Cleveland State University.


Dr. Adriennie Hatten

Dr. Hatten is a Strategic Nonprofit Leader with diversified experience working across Northeastern Ohio for over 20- years in social services, education and government with particular expertise inDr. Adriennie Hatten quality improvement. She is a Management Consultant and a Professor. Her strength in developing and implementing strategic initiatives that integrate policy, practice and research to create positive societal outcomes is an asset to the NLI Intermediary team.  She serves as a Community Initiative Consultant for the NLI team. She has proven success in the following areas: strategic and operational planning, building collaboration, project management, grant writing and grants management, effective leadership and performance management.

Dr. Hatten is a native of Northeastern Ohio and a proud graduate of Shaw High School in East Cleveland, Ohio.  She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, her Masters in Nonprofit Organizations from Case Western Reserve University and her Doctorate Degree in Urban Education from Cleveland State University. Dr. Hatten has worked on behalf of youth and families at the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland, Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland, and Cuyahoga County Department of Children’s Services.


Brandie Smith, M.P.A.

Ms. Brandie S. Smith has a diverse background exceeding ten years in program design, implementation, and management across public and private sectors earning multiple awards for leadership and performance. She is adept at analyzing management techniques and processes to improve organizational effectiveness; researching and interpreting regulations; stratifying resources, and developing creative and strategic initiatives.Brandie Smith

Always taking a holistic approach, she is often sought out to collect, review and synthesize data to develop courses of action for executive leadership that not only addresses the technical issue at hand, but also the political and other relational aspects involved. Her expertise in emotional intelligence allows her to reach out and connect with people who hold seemingly contradictory and disparate views, find common ground, and work effectively together.

As a nine-year Army veteran and fifteen-year Army spouse she has learned to be adaptable and seeks to make a difference in the lives of others wherever the Army moves her. Most recently she served as the Army Family Program Manager for Joint Base San Antonio; the former Chair of the Joint Base San Antonio Risk Assessment and Prevention Council for Families; former member of San Antonio Military and Veteran Community Council Economic Development Solution Team; member of the Air Force Public-Public, Public-Private (P4) Initiative; PTO Treasurer, voting member of the Campus Education Improvement Council and youth soccer coach.

Originally from Ohio, Brandie S. Smith holds a Bachelor of Art Degree in Urban Studies and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Cleveland State University. In 2012, she co-presented about military hiring strategies and best practices at the U.S. Conference of Mayors Workforce Development Council/National Association of Workforce Boards.


 

 

 

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